July 21, 2008

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 Connecticut's Playbook for Prevention is here!
Follow this link to visit, the website containing the winning game plan for kids and Connecticut. As Coach Jim Calhoun says, "It's all about the kids."
In this issue: 

A new class of parent leaders graduates from PLTI
The parents pictured above were among the nearly 150 from across Connecticut who received diplomas on Wednesday, June 25, from the Parent Leadership Training InstituteSM, a civics initiative of the Commission on Children. The graduation ceremony, held at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, included remarks by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Comptroller Nancy Wyman. Read more
Children's Legislation of 2008
The 2008 session of the Connecticut General Assembly saw the passage several important bills aimed at improving the health, safety, and learning of Connecticut children.

Child poverty
On June 12, Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell signed into law a measure that directs federal matching funds from the Food Stamp Employment and Training (FSET) program be used to support the state's efforts to reduce child and family poverty. The legislation had been passed unanimously by both houses of the Connecticut General Assembly.

An Act Concerning School Learning Environment (Public Act 08-160), requires—among other things—that every school board implement a bullying prevention strategy, that the state Department of Education develop model policies on bullying, and that bullying prevention become an in-service training topic for school personnel.

Other Action
For summaries of other children's legislation considered by the General Assembly, see this report (PDF) by Commission Legislative Director Elizabeth C. Brown. In addition, the legislature's Office of Legislative Research has issued this report on the legislation sent to the governor for signing.


Panel discusses children of incarcerated parents
At a June 4 meeting hosted by the Commission, the Coalition on Children of Incarcerated Parents reviewed the latest research on how children are affected by their parents' incarceration. The Coalition also identified challenges and priorities for the coming year. Watch the meeting on the CT-N website
Commission on Children elects new officers
At its June 10 meeting, the Commission on Children unanimously elected the following as officers for 2008-2009:

Chair: M. Alex Geertsma, M.D., F.A.A.P. Dr. Geertsma is the director of the Children's Health Center at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury as well as chairman of the hospital's Pediatrics Department.

Vice Chair: George A. Coleman, deputy commissioner, Department of Education.

Treasurer: Alison Hilding of Storrs.

Secretary: Judith Busch, attorney, of Southbury.

Visit the Commission members page of our website to view a complete list of members.

Visit the Commission meetings page to view agendas and minutes of past meetings, along with the schedule of upcoming meetings.

Child Poverty and Prevention Council requests proposals
The state Child Poverty and Prevention Council, whose members include the Commission on Children, has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to provide economic modeling. Specifically, Council wishes to identify the individuals or firms qualified to assist in creating models that would measure the economic impact of Council proposals to reduce child poverty in Connecticut.

For details, visit the website of the state Office of Policy and Management (OPM).

For more on the Council, visit its website.

The deadline for submissions is 4:30 p.m., August 7.

Zimmerman to discuss reading and parents
Commission on Children Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman will deliver the keynote address at "Parents Empowered! Navigating the Process of Effective Advocacy," a workshop to be held Monday, July 28, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven. Her topic will be "Parents: The Missing Constituency on Reading." The event is co-sponsored by the Connecticut branch of the International Dyslexia Association and the Haskins Literacy Initiative. For more information and registration directions, download this flyer (PDF). The registration deadline is Tuesday, July 22.

Commission on Children in the news
Note: Most newspapers make their online articles available for only a short period before charging access fees.

  • Commission Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman discussed reading instruction in Connecticut for the May 14 edition of "Where We Live," a public-affairs program on Connecticut Public Radio's WNPR-FM.
    Listen to the program on the WNPR website (52 minutes)
  • Prior to the June 25 statewide graduation ceremonies for the Parent Leadership Training Institute's Class of 2008 (see above), the local PLTI sites held their own ceremonies, and several of those were covered by local newspapers, including the Connecticut Post (for the Milford site), the Norwalk Hour, and the Greenwich Post. To get copies of those articles -- since they aren't available on the newspapers' website for very long -- send an e-mail to the Commission.
Remember to visit our website, at

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About the Commission
Created in 1985 by the Connecticut General Assembly, the 25-member Commission on Children brings together the three branches of government--legislative, executive, and judicial--as well as the private sector to promote public policies in the best interests of children. More

The Connecticut Commission on Children
18-20 Trinity Street
Hartford, CT  06106-1591
Phone: (860) 240-0290  
Fax: (860) 240-0248

Commission members: M. Alex Geertsma, M.D., F.A.A.P., Chair; George A. Coleman, Vice Chair; Alison Hilding, Treasurer; Judith Busch, Secretary; James P. Cordier; Representative Andrew M. Fleischmann; Mary K. Fox; Senator Mary Ann Handley; Senator Jonathan Harris; Representative Michael Lawlor; Josh Piteo; Mary Grace Reed; Laura Lee Simon, Chair Emerita; Leslie Wolfgang; John Yrchik. Ex-officio members: commissioners of children and families, developmental services, public health, education, social services, and correction; the secretary of policy and management; the attorney general; and the chief court administrator. More information

Commission staff: Elaine Zimmerman, executive director; Elizabeth C. Brown, legislative director; Thomas R. Brooks, director of policy and research analysis; Patricia Estill, special projects director; Dawn Homer-Bouthiette, Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) director; Kevin Flood, public information officer and webmaster; Mary Kate Lowndes, grant writer and accounts manager; Rachel Levy, executive secretary; Edie Luciano, legislative secretary. Contact information    


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